Stainless Steel Griddle Top vs Cast Iron

Stainless Steel Griddle Top vs Cast Iron
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So, you’re on the market for a new griddle or other piece of metal cookware. Your go-to options might include both stainless steel and cast iron.

Both have their benefits, and cast iron certainly looks elegant. However, if you have to choose just one griddle material, which one should you go with? It can be hard to choose, especially since there are a lot of factors to consider.

Today, we want to do a stainless-steel griddle top vs. cast iron griddle top comparison to see how they stack up against each other.

Stainless Steel Griddle Top vs Cast Iron: Which One is The Best?

Overall Durability

Let’s start off in the corner of the cast iron griddle. Cast iron is, of course, very thick, heavy, and yes, durable too. Although stainless steel is physically durable, it really does not stack up against cast iron in this regard.

Sure, cast iron might have a bunch of drawbacks that we will get to shortly, but the bottom line is that if you drop a cast iron skillet on the ground, you should be more worried about the integrity of the floor you dropped it on than the skillet or griddle.

Drop something made of stainless steel, and it may get dented. If you treat cast iron right, it will probably last a bit longer than a stainless-steel counterpart.

Winner: Cast iron

Ease of Seasoning & Maintenance

Something else that needs to be said when comparing these two materials for cooking is that both need to be seasoned. This means that they need to be heated up and coated with a layer of oil on a regular basis. This is both to prevent rust from occurring as well as to keep food from sticking to the griddles.

In this regard, cast iron is a bit more sensitive and demanding, as it needs to be seasoned more often than stainless steel. So, if you are looking for something that is easier to maintain, especially in terms of seasoning, then it’s a stainless-steel griddle you will want to go with.

Winner: Stainless steel

Flavor of the Food

Yet another thing to keep in mind here when comparing cast iron and stainless-steel griddles and cookware is the flavor of the food. Since the whole point of using a griddle is to whip up a tasty meal, the griddle or pan you are using better be top notch.

Stainless steel generally does not affect the flavor of the food at all. Of course, this is a good thing, because steak should taste like steak, not steel.

However, the same definitely can’t be said for cast iron cookware. Cast iron cookware will slightly affect the overall flavor of the food, maybe even more than slightly. Food cooked in cast iron cookware often ends up having a slightly metallic flavor, sometimes just very slightly, but the fact that cast iron can and does alter the flavor of whatever is being cooked remains the same.

Winner: Stainless steel

Stainless Steel Griddle Top vs Cast Iron

Weight

The next point you need to be aware of has to do with weight. Sure, this might not be the number one most important point of comparison, but it does matter to some. Simply put, a cast iron griddle is going to be much heavier than its stainless-steel counterpart, often twice or even three times as heavy.

When it comes to setting up your cooking station, this can be quite the pain in the neck. It applies more to skillets and pans than griddles because you won’t be picking up a griddle in the middle of cooking, but it’s still something to think about.

Winner: Stainless steel

Quality of the Sear

Yet another important point of comparison here has to do with the quality of the sear. Generally speaking, when you cook meat on a griddle or pan, you want that nice crusty brown sear on the outside. Meat is always better when seared properly.

Cast iron doesn’t do such a great job at searing meat as stainless steel. Simply put, if you are looking for a high-quality sear, it’s stainless steel that you want to go with.

Winner: Stainless steel

Ease of Cleaning

Another important point of comparison here has to do with ease of cleaning. Now, both cast iron and stainless steel can be a nightmare to clean when not properly seasoned and maintained. Food that gets stuck on really gets stuck on. That being said, cast iron tends to be much harder to clean.

With a stainless-steel griddle, you can use soap and water if you have to, and you can really scrub it down to. So, although stainless-steel griddles are not super easy to clean, they also aren’t as hard to get clean as their cast iron counterparts.

Cast iron should never be washed with soap, and it really should not be scrubbed with anything remotely coarse, which makes cleaning it a lot harder.

Winner: Stainless steel

Even Heat Conduction

The final point of comparison between these two griddle materials has to do with heat conduction and even heating.

Stainless steel tends to heat up pretty fast, and because it is generally relatively thin, heat spreads around faster and more evenly, thus providing better results when cooking. Cast iron is much thicker, takes longer to heat up, and heat doesn’t spread around as well either.

Winner: Stainless steel

Conclusion

The bottom line, as you can now see, is that stainless-steel griddles tend to be much easier to work with than cast iron griddles. Sure, cast iron has its benefits, but if you are a normal person doing some normal cooking, stainless steel is probably your best bet.